"Great Beast" (Megatherium) skeleton, from George Shaw’s Zoological Lectures delivered at the Royal Institution, 1800. 
Megatherium americana was one of the few species of South American megafauna to not die out soon after the Great American Interchange at the beginning of the Pliocine era, and there’s evidence that it was encountered and hunted by early humans, especially after it expanded northwards into southern North America.
The size of a bull elephant, Megatherium were largely quadrupeds, but could use their massive tail as a tripod-like base to allow themselves to stand on their hind legs and pull down the choicest branches of leaves. Their somewhat smaller (rhino-sized) ancestor Promegatherium is believed to be a direct ancestor of both Megatherium and modern-day sloths. 

"Great Beast" (Megatherium) skeleton, from George Shaw’s Zoological Lectures delivered at the Royal Institution, 1800. 

Megatherium americana was one of the few species of South American megafauna to not die out soon after the Great American Interchange at the beginning of the Pliocine era, and there’s evidence that it was encountered and hunted by early humans, especially after it expanded northwards into southern North America.

The size of a bull elephant, Megatherium were largely quadrupeds, but could use their massive tail as a tripod-like base to allow themselves to stand on their hind legs and pull down the choicest branches of leaves. Their somewhat smaller (rhino-sized) ancestor Promegatherium is believed to be a direct ancestor of both Megatherium and modern-day sloths. 

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    Great beast, or greatest of beasts?
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    The great beast
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